Credit Advice » Loans » Cosigning


Perhaps your son, daughter or other family member has asked you to co-sign on a mortgage, car loan or credit card account. Should you do it, and if so what are your financial obligations in the event of late payments or defaults? Consider the following common questions:

Will Cosigning on a Loan Help Your Child Build Credit?

Yes, provided all payments are made on time. The accounts will appear on both of your credit reports, contributing to your credit score as well as theirs. Make sure you have access to the account so you can verify the payments, since you’ll be just as legally responsible as your child.

Could Cosigning for an Apartment Lease Affect Your Credit?

Rental payments are not routinely reported to credit-reporting companies, but if your co-signer fails to meet lease requirements the landlord may take legal action. As such, your name would be included in the civil judgment or collection-agency account for the unpaid debt, which would likely appear on your credit report. Both have very negative impacts on credit scores and lending decisions.

Should I cosign on my son’s car loan? Are there any risks to my credit?

December 20, 2016

Dear Experian, I want to help my son build his credit. Is cosigning for a car loan a smart way to do it? Cash flow is not an issue,...

Being a Cosigner Can Help Build Your Credit

July 13, 2016

Dear Experian, I currently have no credit. Not bad credit, no credit. I am interested in purchasing a new vehicle and a family member has offered to cosign. However, we've...

Cosigners are Responsible for Debt Repayment

September 10, 2013

Dear Experian, I cosigned a loan with my son. He is not making payments, and it will be turned over to a collection agency soon. Other than this circumstance I...

Authorized User vs. Cosigner

August 23, 2013

Dear Experian, I am wondering about the difference in liability between a cosigner and an authorized user on a credit card. I understand that if I am a cosigner on...

Bank May Not Notify You if Cosigner Doesn’t Pay

November 9, 2011

Dear Experian, I co-signed my son’s auto loan. He was over 30 days late on one payment. Why should that impact my credit score when I was never notified by...